Thursday, February 27, 2014


Barter Theater, Abingdon VirginiaBarter Theatre in Abingdon Virginia

Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, has a rich history dating back to 1933 with one man's idea to have patrons pay with produce, and has grown today into a year-round theatre. The 2014 season is again rich in theatrical experiences on all stages.

The Main Stage hosts well-know productions like "The Man of La Mancha",
The Man of La Mancha Barter Theatre VA
"The Man of La Mancha"
 "My Fair Lady", "The Crucible" and "I Do, I Do, I Do". And newer productions including "The Wizard of Oz", and "Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash",

Don't Cry for Me Margaret Mitchell Barter Theater
"Don't Cry For Me Margaret Mitchell"
On Barter Stage II you can see "Don't Cry For Me Margaret Mitchell", "The Dryad: an Appalachian Tale", Educating Rita", "Hollywood Confidential" "Wash, Rinse, Spin Dry", "A Facility for Living" and "The Starving".

There are new offering including "Winter Wheat: A New Musical", the story of the men and women of Tennessee who lived through the changes at the end of the last century. "The Whipping Man' is a  stunning Civil War drama about race, family and religion. And there are great holiday stories "A Modern Christmas Carol" and "Holiday Memories".

The Barter Players perform plays for children and young adults and will perform "Anne of Green Gables", "Sleeping Beauty", "Winnie-The-Pooh", "Bridge to Terabithia" and a holiday production of "Jingle All The Way".

The Barter Theatre is about 2 hours northeast of the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area in Abingdon, Virginia. This historic town is a great place to stop on your way to or from the Great Smoky Mountains.
Historic Downtown Abingdon, VA
Historic Downtown Abingdon
On the Main Street and in the historic downtown district there are great restaurants and unique shops and galleries. A craft beer brewery and winery are nearby. Heartwood - Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway is nearby and you will find crafts, gifts, delicious food and live music.

Abingdon is surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. The Appalachian Trail is close and the Virginia Creeper Trail begins downtown. There are many places to stay including The Martha, an historic hotel and spa.

For more information on Barter Theatre go to, and for info on things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains go to

Monday, February 17, 2014


Saddle Up Cowboys - Pigeon Forge, TN

The 14th Annual Saddle Up event happens in Pigeon Forge from February 19 through the 23, 2014. Saddle Up is a Cowboy-themed event hosted by the City Of Pigeon Forge and their Special Events Department. Most of the events are free but the concerts and dinners have a fee and reservations are recommended. You can call 865-453-8574 to make your reservations.

LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge
LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge

This year Saddle Up will be held for the first time in the newly opened LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge and other venues throughout the city including Pottery House Cafe and Grill at Old Mill Square, Smoky Mountain Guitars, Clabough's Campground and Stages West.

 The concerts, storytelling and poetry highlight the event with some of the greatest Cowboy-oriented performers and groups in the country including Don Edwards, Andy Nelson, Belinda Gail, The Hot Club of Cowtown, Joyce Woodson, Ray Doyle, T. Scot Wilburn and the Shut Up-N-Playboys and Red Steagall.

You can learn plenty at the "Songwriters Workshop" or the "Fiddle and Guitar Style Workshop", or go though the "Western Video/Photography Presentation". You will be entertained and educated at the "Stories and Strings" event where several singers, songwriters and musicians will tell stories about their musical influences and play some of their favorite tunes.

Buckaroo Roundup Chuck Wagon Cook-offAnd there is a heap of good food starting with the "Cornbread Sampling" and carrying on with "Dinner and Intimate Evening Concert with Don Edwards", a "Dinner and Intimate Evening Concert with Hot Club of Cowtown", the "Buckaroo Roundup and Chuck Wagon Cook-off and Lunch" and ending with the "Cowboy Breakfast" on Sunday morning followed by "Cowboy Church".

Saddle Up is a Winterfest Event and one of many events hosted by the City of Pigeon Forge. It is truly a one-of-a-kind event for Cowboy fans or anyone looking for great music, great grub and an in-depth look at a unique and fascinating section of American life.

Saddle Up 2014 in Pigeon Forge, TN

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Valentine's Day in the Smoky Mountains
Are you looking to impress your wife or sweetheart this Valentine's Day? If so then there's no better place to go than the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, especially if you include a romantic dinner in the equation.

For a guy there is always the question of "where to go for dinner" so let me give you three excellent choices. The Melting Pot, The Old Mill and Greenbrier Restaurant.

The Melting Pot - a fondue restaurant GatlinburgThe Melting Pot in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, says "Welcome Lovers. And Lovers of Fondue." How perfect is that? Imagine a cozy booth, romantic lighting, a bubbling fondue pot filled with tasty oils or delicious chocolate. Then imagine cooking a delicious morsel and feeding it to your sweetheart. Man, it doesn't get any more romantic than that! The Melting Pot has been named as one the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S. according to Open Table's annual Diners' Choice list. Then after dinner take an arm-in-arm stroll through Gatlinburg, or check Gatlinburg Hotel or mountain

The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TNThe Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge offers delicious family-style servings of classic Southern meals in the rustic surroundings of the Old Mill General Store. Across the street is the Pottery House CafĂ© & Grill which offers a picturesque dinging experience with creatively prepared and stylishly presented Southern foods. Both restaurants offer home-made breads and sumptuous desserts. After dinner you can enjoy the many live music and comedy theaters and dozens of attractions in Pigeon Forge.

Greenbrier Restaurant, TNAnd for that "One of a kind dining experience", take your sweetheart to the Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg, TN. The Greenbrier Restaurant is off the beaten track and up the mountainside on Highway 321 E going out of downtown Gatlinburg. The Greenbrier Restaurant is located in an Historic Log Cabin built in 1939, and features unique dishes with fresh foods prepared daily. This romantic dining experience offers fine dining, a wonderful ambiance, beautiful surroundings and spectacular views atop the mountain in Gatlinburg, TN.

There are many other fine restaurants in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, and plenty of  fun things to do and places to shop to round-out your Valentine's Day visit. For more information please click

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Mel's Classic Diner
 Mel’s Classic Diner is a Pigeon Forge Restaurant and looks just like the classic 50's American "Airstream" diner, and inside is cozy and inviting with booths, counter seats and a jukebox.
 Club Sandwich at Mel's Classic DinerBreakfast at Mel's Classic Diner
Inside they serve classic American food from eggs and bacon, omelets and pancakes for breakfast, to hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, french fries and onion rings for lunch.

Then you can chow down for dinner with Hungry Eddie's Hamburger Steak, Smoky's Pulled Pork Barbecue, Bad Boy's Beef Liver & Onions, Miss Stella's Country Fried Steak or April's Open-Faced Turkey, all served with two sides and Texas Toast!

Enjoy a banana split at Mel's DinerThen top off any meal with a classic dessert like Sensational Sundaes, Mel's Famous Ultimate Banana Split, or Homemade Goodies including Cobblers, Hot Fudge Cake and Strawberry Shortcake. Drinks are Classic too with Shakes, Old Fashioned Malts and Pepsi or Root beer Floats.

And you can take Mel's home with you by purchasing one of their Classic T-shirts including the "Cruise and Dine In" and the unforgettable "Kiss My Grits" shirt.

Mel's is located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, TN on Wears Valley Road at Stoplight #3. For more information and a coupon visit and click on the Dining Page.
An American Tradition - Mel's Diner Pigeon Forge, TN